Alex Rodriguez ‘all but assured’ a 50-game suspension
Alex Rodriguez is one of several baseball players facing a suspension from MLB for ties to the now-defunct Biogenesis anti-aging clinic that allegedly supplied players with performance-enhancing drugs. A past report from ESPN said that suspensions for A-Rod and Ryan Braun — the two biggest names involved in the scandal — were likely to come after the All-Star break.
The timing of A-Rod’s suspension is interesting; the 3B/DH is rehabbing from offseason hip surgery and was scheduled to return to the New York Yankees on Monday until being delayed by a quad strain. Based on the new information we’re hearing, Rodriguez may not return to the Yankees at all this season.
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that A-Rod is “all but assured” of receiving a Biogenesis-related suspension from MLB for not answering questions presented by MLB investigators. Heyman says the suspension would be for at least 50 games.
MLB’s rules call for a 50-game suspension for a first violation of the league’s drug policy, a 100-game suspension for a second offense, and a lifetime ban for a third violation. Though Rodriguez has admitted to using PEDs in the past, that was not considered a violation because the drug policy was not in place at the time. However, MLB reportedly will consider each offense a separate violation. For example: if MLB can prove that A-Rod used drugs before and after interviewing with them, then that would be considered two violations. They would also consider it a violation if A-Rod lied to investigators, which means he could theoretically be suspended 150 games (a lifetime ban for one ruling would be difficult to execute).
[Previously: Alex Rodriguez, MLB reportedly working on plea deal]
The Yankees are 98 games into the season. If A-Rod’s return to the team is delayed another two weeks and then he gets a 50-game (or more) suspension, that would take him out for the season. The Yankees reportedly have been working to void A-Rod’s contract somehow so that they won’t have to pay him the $86 million he is owed over the next four years, though that would likely be difficult to accomplish.